Tuesday, 12 June 2012


In the film Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, the title character Leslie is ecstatic to learn that he has an ‘Ahab’. That is, an obsessed nemesis, a do-gooder who cannot rest until he has ended his villainous quarry’s reign of terror.

There are plenty of these scattered throughout horror history: Jason Voorhees has Tommy Jarvis; Chucky has Andy Barclay; and Freddy Krueger has Nancy Thompson.

In Leslie’s case, he has the man behind Freddy himself, Robert Englund, in the guise of Dr Halloran.

But Halloran’s attire should be all too familiar to fans of horror. Halloran is dressed in the same manner as the DEFINITIVE Ahab — Dr Sam Loomis.

Played to perfection by the late great Donald Pleasance, Loomis was the doctor assigned to Halloween’s Michael Myers after he was committed to Smith’s Grove Sanitarium as a boy. Pleasance NAILED it. Veering dangerously close to camp, his Loomis was terrified by what he’d seen inside the boy he tried to reach and realised that it must be stopped at all costs.

As well as the fact that Pleasance was a heavy-hitting, serious actor, the thing that really leaps out when looking at his performance is the steady stream of melodramatic bad-ass lines he cranks out throughout the Halloween series.

Both terrifyingly threatening and hilarious in one go, these lines are ALL GOLD.

So let’s celebrate this amazing character with a look at his greatest dialogue moments. After all, everyone’s entitled to one good scare...

LOOMIS: ‘I met him, fifteen years ago. I was told there was nothing left. No reason, no conscience, no understanding; even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, good or evil, right or wrong. I met this six-year-old child, with this blank, pale, emotionless face and, the blackest eyes... the devil's eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply... evil.’

LOOMIS: ‘I watched him for fifteen years, sitting in a room, staring at a wall, not seeing the wall, looking past the wall — looking at this night, inhumanly patient, waiting for some secret, silent alarm to trigger him off. Death has come to your little town, Sheriff. Now you can either ignore it, or you can help me to stop it.’

LOOMIS: ‘He’s gone! He’s gone from here! The evil is gone!’ 

Sheriff Brackett [referring to a half eaten dog]: ‘A man wouldn’t do that.’ 

LOOMIS: ‘This isn’t a man.’

LOOMIS: ‘You’ve got to believe me, Officer, he is coming to Haddonfield... Because I know him! I’m his doctor! You must be ready for him... If you don’t, it’s your funeral!’

Laurie: ‘It WAS the boogeyman.’
LOOMIS: ‘As a matter of fact, it was.’

Neighbour: ‘What's going on out here?’ 
LOOMIS: ‘Call the police! Tell the sheriff I shot him!’ 
Neighbour: ‘Who?’ 
LOOMIS: ‘Tell him, he’s still on the loose!’ 
Neighbour: ‘Is this some kind of joke? I’ve been trick-or-treated to death tonight.’
LOOMIS: ‘You don’t know what death is!’

LOOMIS: ‘He was my patient for fifteen years. He became an obsession with me until I realised there was neither reason nor conscience or anything about him that was even remotely human. An hour ago I stood up and fired six shots into him and he just got up and walked away. I am talking about the real possibility that he is STILL OUT THERE!’   

LOOMIS: ‘I shot him 6 times! I shot him in the heart, but... HE'S NOT HUMAN!’

LOOMIS: ‘In order to appease the gods, the Druid priests held fire rituals. Prisoners of war, criminals, the insane, animals were burned alive in baskets. By observing the way they died, the Druids believed they could see omens of the future. Two thousand years later, we’ve come no further. Samhain isn’t evil spirits. It isn’t goblins, ghosts or witches. It’s the unconscious mind. We’re all afraid of the dark inside ourselves.’

LOOMIS: ‘It’s time, Michael.’

LOOMIS: ‘You’re talking about him as if he were a human being. That part of him died years ago.’

Sheriff Ben Meeker: ‘How could a man do this, Loomis? Tell me.’
LOOMIS: ‘This isn’t a man.’
Sheriff Ben Meeker: ‘Then what is he? Tell me! What the hell are we dealing with here?’
LOOMIS: ‘Evil.’

Sheriff Ben Meeker: ‘This is starting to spook me here, doctor.’
LOOMIS: ‘At least I’m not alone.’

LOOMIS: ‘Six bodies, Sheriff, that’s what I have seen! Between here and Ridgemont. An entire filling station in flames! I’m telling you Michael Myers is here, in this town! He’s here to kill that little girl and anybody who gets in his way!

We’re not talking about any ordinary prisoner, Hoffman! We are talking about evil on two legs.’

LOOMIS: ‘Michael? Why now? You’ve waited 10 years. Why come back now? I knew this day would come. Don’t go to Haddonfield. If you want another victim, take me. But leave those people in peace. Please, Michael? 

Goddamn you.’ [Shoots at Michael]

LOOMIS:Michael? It will destroy you too, one day, Michael! This rage which drives you. You think if you kill them all it will go away? It won’t! You have to fight it, in the place where it’s strongest! WHERE IT ALL BEGAN! If you want to get rid of this rage, Michael, go home, GO HOME! Go to your house! I shall be there waiting for you! You will find HER, waiting for you!’

LOOMIS: ‘I prayed that he would burn in hell. But in my heart, I knew that hell would not have him.’

LOOMIS: ‘You must help me. Your tears will do you no good. He must be stopped!’ 

LOOMIS: ‘After my stroke six years ago they practically had to hold a pistol to my head to get me to retire. But things are different now — I’m different. I’ve buried the ghosts, I’ve buried them in this manuscript. I don't want to practise medicine anymore.’ 

LOOMIS:I’ve wanted to believe it. But I’ve felt Michael's presence, behind these walls, just like all those years ago. Plotting, staring, Staring. Waiting for some signal. I can’t go through this again, not alone. Please, as my colleague, as my friend. Help me.’

LOOMIS:Dr. Wynn, you know it is not wise to play Halloween pranks.’


One from the man who played Loomis in the remake, Malcolm McDowell...

Loomis: ‘The darkest souls are not those which choose to exist within the hell of the abyss, but those which choose to move silently among us.’

So there you go, a perfect celebration of the ULTIMATE ‘Ahab’.

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Until next time, I hope you enjoyed your stay.

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